tv [untitled] December 30, 2012 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
and have yourself... a merry little christmas now. ♪ >> thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> i am in the holiday spirit now, aren't you? let's hear it for tammy hall and veronica klaus. >> i got jealous for a minute there, some of the members of the san francisco boys chorus are getting more pictures than
i am. as you look around this room, think about the events that you have been to in the city hall in this one rotunda or one of the offices and so many wonderful weddings and so many celebrations and so many heart rending speeches and yes, some sad occasions too. all a part of our community and our beautiful city. as you look around this room tonight, what a diverse combination we have. it makes me smile, but it probably doesn't make nebraska smile. we live in a richly diverse city and our elected officials represent it and our events here represent it and the tree lighting should represent it and indeed it does, we call it the tree of hope. and every year we get messages from all over the country and all over the world that are put on origamis and put on this very unique, unusual tree. >> there are many cities that
have holiday trees, but no one has the tree of hope. it was started by an organization and now i will have the chance to introduce you to that organization's founder and executive director. who failed to put this in the proper amount of type here. no little things happen. the sound is better, i think that you can hear and i just have to go slowly, they told me, it is my pleasure to introduce the executive director of the rainbow world fund. this organization creates this holiday tree now, this is the 7th year. let's hear for that, 7 years of anything is a long time [ applause ] rainbow world fund was founded 12 years ago, the concept and wanted to think locally but he wanted to act globally. and indeed, he has figured out a way to strengthen the lgbt
community by reaching out to the world on their behalf. rainbow world funds a powerful force, compassion, concern, rainbow world fund helps others by promoting philanthropy on cross the world and they have distributed 4 million dollars in humanitarian aid to communities in need around the world. let's hear it. ♪ i know that he thinks big, but i wonder if he thought that big that they would be going to cuba and helping one person at a time and tonight, helping kick off the holiday season in san francisco, welcome, founder and executive director of the rainbow world fund, jeff cauter.
>> thanks donna and that great introduction and i must say that you look particularly fabulous tonight. >> if you are not familiar with the rainbow world fund we are an international service agency based in the gay and lesbian and transgender and friends community. so we are gay and straight people coming together. and what we do is we work within our community to educate people about issues of humanitarian aid and world need. and as we raise our community's consciousness, we fund and we raise funds to support relief efforts all around the world. our projects focus on, education, hunger, safe drinking water, and disaster relief, and all kinds of different ways of helping
people. we have ongoing projects in cambodia, haiti, and south africa and helping out in areas just as the tsunami in south east asia and the earthquake and tsunami in japan and last year, and during hurricane katrina we tributed one mill object pounds of food aid. [ applause ] >> and all of that is coming from the lgbt and friends community. so we work as ambassadors for our community and we help change people's minds and hearts about who we are and what we care about. besides providing humanitarian aid, we try to inspire hope in all of our projects and we have found that hope is really just as important as aid, if not more so.
and we have worked with a lot of communities in desperate situations arounded world and we found that providing a little bit of humanitarian aid and a lot of courage and hope it is amazing that people in desperate circumstances can do to improve theirs life. so seven years ago we really have a feeling that in the united states, we really need to increase our hope also. and we decided to do that by creating a global art project, the world, tree of hope. and what you see behind you is a live, 23-foot christmas tree and it is covered with 10,000 pieces of oragami and most of it is white cranes and all of the white cranes on the tree are inscribed with people's wish and hopes for the world. merilee put out an invitation
that goes out virally through the internet and we ask people what they want for the future of the world and share it with us. and wishes are send in all over north america and europe and africa and really we have got wishes coming in from almost every country in the world now. and people are just expressing, all kinds of amazing hopes and dreams for the future of the world which is really encouraging for us. we create the tree as a symbol of the global unity and hope. and we are going to continue to add wishes to the tree all through the month of december. so we would love for you to go to our website which is rainbow fund.org and it is free and we will printout your wish on a piece of paper and fold it into a crane and put it up on the tree. now, i want to thank, some key people who helped with this year's tree. first i want to start off with
our core team, our core creative team and that consists of karin kai and linda mihara and thank you they have been working on the tree for seven years. >> and this year we have the help of dozens of volunteers and i want to particularly acknowledge the university of berkeley alfa, fi omega service community and volunteers from one brick. aid for good, the san francisco chapter. and you guys are here. the bridgemen. the left coast theatre. skip and the staff of martini's
bar. yeah. and berny man and we had a bunch of burners helping us this year. yeah. and also, of course i would like to thank the mayor's office of neighborhood services and city hall events department. we worked them for seven years and they are always wonderful. and so thank you. >> it was his idea in the beginning. he must be very proud. that is a beautiful tree. and there are hundreds of cranes, when you look at it from here, it looks like it is snow-covered the tree. but you are in san francisco, that is not snow, those are oragami and each one has to be folded and it is an incredible project. i always thought of it as something that they just kind of did in class that you were bored, but no it is an art form and it makes a beautiful tree and behind all of that creativity is a person whose
name was just mentioned. she has been here all seven years, linda mahara and she is a professional oragami artist. and you may know her work and not realize that you know her work. she has done professional training for febrese disney and pixar and she is here today because this is part of her labor of love, the world three of hope. let's welcome linda. mihara. >> thank you, donna, that is a wonderful introduction and you do look magnificent. >> you too. >> thank you >> this is a labor of love. this is my 7th year of participation, i get a call one day from jeff cauter and he said that he had this concept for the tree and he had heard
about the tree about sadakal and it is a famous story that was true that was the inspiration for this tree. i came on board because i am the professional oragami artist and the story of sadako goes in japan if you have a wish that you want to have come true, you fold 1,000 cranes, and by the time that you have finished your 1,000th crane your wish will be granted so during the hiroshima bombing a girl became ill and had will leukemia, she passed before she finished, however her school mates completed the rest of the 1,000 that are buried with her.
there is a monument to her at iroshima peace park. >> the celebrating of the cranes is celebrated worldwide. and this as an inspiration for this tree and how do we go about doing this? it is a big undertaking. we have so many volunteers, over the years, we have bridged the japanese and american community with the lgbt community and the chinese community and hispanic and it is really has been a community effort from the city. and it has been an amazing project. each crane takes about 30 folds to create. and we have over 10,000 ornaments on this tree this year and this year's tree is 23 feet tall, and it is four and a half feet taller than the white house tree.
and it is the world's largest oragami tree. [ applause ] and it took 250 volunteers to prep the models everything has to be hand folded and wired and fire proofed and then, of course, decorated or placed on to the tree. it is really an amazing thing to look up close and think about what your hope and wishes for the world. we have given all the wishes wings and we hope that all of the wishes come true, especially the wishes of the children, thank you very much. anybody else just get chills? it gives so much more meaning to the tree. wow that is a lot of hours and i am not good at math but i
think that it is a lot of hours, i can't imagine. and you have to love what you are doing. one more hand for linda and she does a wonderful job. it is really do get wishes from all over the world and we love to read some of them. we are going to have two people come up and read. but before they do, we got a late wish and just came across on beautiful stationary and we cannot fold it because it is on nancy pilosi sent us this message, each person puts in their wish for the world for the year and this is so well worded and if you know nancy it rings true. >> my wish is to live in a society where marriage equality is a reality for all and where all-american families are treated with dignity, and equality. [ applause ]
the next two speakers are coming up together. we have a little school girl and a supervisor of san francisco, i bet that you will be able to tell which one is which. >> the 10-year-old girl is the president of her class at her elementary school and the larger person is a member of the board of supervisors. >> hang on hannah oconnel and scott weiner. [ applause ] >> so i am not hannah. i will be reading wishes tonight and alternate. the first is from sisters in gramic of the sisters of loreto my wish is that we achieve marriage equality in every
state and we resend doma on the federal level to achieve full quality for lesbian and gay relationships across the land. >> i wish that the bees were not dying from. >> that is a good one. >> my hope is for improved economic conditions for my country's most vulnerable people that we create healthy environments and green spaces and by country men and women become fully conscious of their ability to change things for the better. >> baptist from haiti. my wish is for more justice, economic as well as social justice, starting with the recognition that poverty is not
a sin. >> i wish for wish for a world without boarders and walls, age 53, argentina. [ applause ] >> i wish for a world where the children are more just and more kind and fair in the world than the one we know. president, barack obama. >> and now, this is a good one, that donna and i can very strongly identify with. i wish that male fashion designers would be forced to wear the things that they
create for women like stelleto heals and it gets better. and that all politicians would have to live by the rules and laws they come up with for the rest of us like the ones on food stamps and the minimum wage by isabel, ienda >> i promise that i will not take my clothes off in public. >> i wish it would snow in the morning so nobody does not have to go to school for two weeks, michael age 13 from long island, new york. >> free medical care for everyone, dorothy, age 72, new york, new york. >> i wish for all of the lonely people in the world to find
happiness. daniel, steele, the author. >> i wish that we could bring all of our soldiers home now, anonomous. >> thank you, everyone. >> you can't make that stuff up, i tell you that was incredible, i know when the mayor leaves town they appoint a mayor for the day and i think that hannah should be the supervisor for the day when scott is out of town, thank you, hannah. >> okay, if you are following your program, throw it away or take it home with you so you know who was here today but he always have to change things around a little bit. i am thrilled that we have the mayor with us and we have the council general of japan with us and i want to bring them on so they can do the official thing that they have done for several years and exchange
oragami decorations and kind of a symbolic friendship act here in city hall and don't forget that san francisco is where the united nations is was founded. one more thing that was very interesting to me this year the council general's wife coordinated the gathering of wishes for the tree of hope for 40 other consulates around the globe. >> thank you for doing that. the mayor of san francisco, the council general of japan and his name is... wait a minute, i have it. his name is heroshi, imamata. >> happy holidays everyone, welcome to the great city of
san francisco, that dress, donna will make santa claus stay up all night. any way, i want to welcome everybody again to city hall, and to view our wonderful, wonderful tree of hope. it is something that i enjoy every year that it has been here and i tell you when it was announced that this was the tallest, largest tree of hope in the united states, if not in the world, i also wanted to say my very first thought was san francisco has always the biggest hearts in the world, thanks to all of you. thank you, donna, for your wonderful mc work here every year. and your beautiful presence. jeff carter, thank you very much, congratulations and thank you on behalf of everyone in the city, we are so proud of
your work. karin that i have known for 30 years, thank you for you and all of the volunteers from the rainbow fund to put this together to place all of these 10,000 ornaments on the tree to give us the kind of attention that we would like not just because we have a great tree or city hall, but because we do always want to show our hearts first, especially during these holiday season. i know that is why, all of you are here tonight. and i want to also give a shout out to isabel iunda, thank you very much for being here, isabel. and linda mahara, thank you for your wonderful presentation, you know the stories that linda tells every year that updates us. these are the stories that i am proud of. because for every story that she has told about the original, the origin of
origami, we inherit those stories and spread them to generations of our friends and children and so they understand what hope is about. >> halahanzo, and our san francisco, polorio. thank you for being here tonight. i also know that veronica klaus, thank you for being here. sisters, i was going to say the sisters of petulince. thank you for being here as well. [ applause ] and of course, you will hear and you have heard them earlier, our san francisco boys chorus, thank you, boys chorus for being here to celebrate. and then, tonight, many of you will be treated to goodies and some refreshments all donated through the world fund and their volunteers and all of the small businesses of san francisco. thank you for your